Councillor says he can repair Warwickshire’s electronic road signs himself at a much cheaper price
Cllr Keith Kondakor, a member of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, made the appeal at the Shire Hall cabinet meeting on September 8 when a new policy for the installation, maintenance and removal of vehicle activated signs was approved.
After hearing that it would cost £6,000 to repair each of the 160 broken signs, he suggested that with his background in engineering he would be able to do the job himself at a fraction of the price.
He told the meeting: “I question the repair costs. I am an electrical engineer and I could repair one in most cases for a few hundred pounds. I have seen other councils quote repair costs typically of £500-600 per unit.
“I’d happily buy all your broken units next year for £100 each and sell them back to you for £700 if I can repair them because the value is there in the box and power supplies. We can fix these things and we should be fixing them.”
Members of the cabinet were told that the predicted annual maintenance costs for the signs was approximately £120,000 and even though the maintenance budget had been increased to £80,000, it meant there was an annual budget deficit leading to a backlog of work.
It is estimated that 40 per cent of the devices which are activated when traffic approaches currently need repairing or replacing.
Councillors agreed to a scheme that would remove out of order signs if they were shown not to have led to an improvement in road safety although these could be retained and paid for by a local community group or organisation.
Cllr Peter Butlin, the council’s portfolio holder for finance and property, said: “We started with about 40 and they have mushroomed over a period of time to about 400.
"I think the criteria is the best route for installing them and maintaining them to ensure we get the best bang out of our money.
“This is a good solution for maintaining the ones we have and there is provision for communities if they think they want to put them in and maintain them.”